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Relief and caution as coronavirus 'shielders' take first tentative steps towards normality

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Mairtin Mac Gabhann and Seph Ni Mheallain with their three-yearold son Daithi

Mairtin Mac Gabhann and Seph Ni Mheallain with their three-yearold son Daithi

Mairtin Mac Gabhann and Seph Ni Mheallain with their three-yearold son Daithi

Nervousness rather than excitement will be the overriding emotion for some 80,000 people as the shielding programme is paused for Northern Ireland's most vulnerable from Friday.

After four months confined to their homes, there is still huge anxiety amongst some shielders with underlying health conditions at the prospect of exiting their lockdown.

Michaella Hollywood (30) has been in self isolation in Crossgar with her mum Marie, dad Michael and dog Charlie since March 12.